§ Colonel GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
asked whether the Under-Secretary's attention has been called to the fact that a tariff Bill is now being considered by the Dutch Parliament by which a duty varying from 5 to 6 per cent. is to be placed on imported chains and anchors; whether he is aware that English chains and anchors hitherto have been admitted free into Holland; where they have entered into strenuous competition with the Dutch manufactured article; whether he has been informed of the effect of the new duty upon British trade, which is of considerable volume at the present time; and whether the Foreign Office will take steps to protect the interests of British manufacturers, and, if so, what steps he proposes to take?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Tennant)
The articles mentioned are at present free of duty when entering the Netherlands. Under the proposed new tariff chains would be charged with a duty of 6 per cent. ad valorem, but it is not clear what duty is intended to be levied on anchors. Our exports of "anchors, grapnels, chains and cables" to the Netherlands during the last five years have averaged about £70,000 annually. A translation of the projected new tariff is being circulated to chambers of commerce, including Dudley, and their observations thereon are being invited. As soon as I have received those observations I shall consider carefully what action, if any, it may be desirable to take.
§ Mr. W. PEEL
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there is any method by which we can bring pressure to bear on such a power?